Scam Alert: Beware of Fake IRS Agents

Money transfer company MoneyGram is warning Americans about a phone scam that is preying on nervous tax filers this year.

As millions of Americans file their taxes this week, it’s good to keep in mind that not everyone involving themselves in the process is on the up-and-up: scammers are all too aware that tax filers are often worried about a possible mistake they may have made in their taxes, and a possible follow-up call from the IRS.

MoneyGram said that scammers posing as IRS agents call victims, and tell them they owe back taxes, and that they must pay up immediately using a money transfer or pre-paid debit card.

These scammers are extra-clever, too: they will often know the last four digits of the victim’s social security number. Verifying that the call is coming from the IRS doesn’t help, either, since the scammers use fake caller ID software to make it appear that the call is legit.

This scam is proving to be so effective that unwary Americans have already lost more than $1 million to these crooks, MoneyGram said.

Keep in mind that the IRS will NEVER contact a taxpayer by phone to inform him/her of back taxes owed, and will NEVER demand payment by money transfer or debit card.

So, if anyone calls you claiming to be from the IRS – and claiming that you owe money – hang up and contact the authorities immediately.

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